Although this is the end of the semester, my education on technology is far from over. I am excited to continue learning and growing my online resource pool as I enter the world of teaching!
I have attached my summary of personal learning below.
Thanks for a wonderful semester!!
Well here we are... the end of another semester. Although it went by very quick, I have accomplished so much over the past few weeks. My biggest take away from this course is to always utilize online resources as well as use resources to network with other professionals in the education field. It is important that educators work as a team... we are not alone on this journey!
Twitter has been a key tool in my networking the past few weeks and I know it will continue to be a great resource throughout my education journey. I started my Twitter account at the beginning of this semester in May of 2021. I currently follow 137 accounts and have 67 followers. I have built my profile to show a professional photo of myself as well as a simple bio to show others that I am an education student at the University of Regina. I have incorporated a link to my blog on my twitter page so that anyone who views my profile is able to have quick and easy access to my blog. Since the beginning of May, I have tweeted 168 times! I have found myself to be very active on Twitter with classmates and other educators I have connected with. Below is a slideshow of evidence on how I contributed to others learning via Twitter.
Twitter has been an amazing resource overall, but one of my favorite experiences was when we joined the Saskedchat on Twitter. I was able to connect with other educators across the province in a safe space where we could speak our minds. The night I joined was a conversation about LDBTQ+ students within schools. Below are some of my comments within the chat. I am excited to join again one day and learn more from other educators!
I have highly enjoyed looking and interacting with other classmates blogs. It has been amazing seeing the progress in everyones learning projects as well as seeing how everyone would respond to our weekly blog post question. Being able to see others responses furthered my knowledge and education. Commenting on others blog posts allowed me to interact with them and let me know my thoughts on what they were doing. This aspect of the course showed how important it is to interact and use other educators as resources. Working as a team is important in this field of work! Below is a sample of my interactions on my classmates blogs.
This semester, I found that the Discord channel was used mostly for asking/answering questions. I tried to interact with classmates via Discord as much as possible, but I found that at times once I saw the post, there were multiple people who had already answered the question. I did find myself sharing articles as well as replying to others articles that they shared. Below is a sample of interactions I had with classmates over Discord!
That's A Wrap!
Overall, I was able to utilize online resources throughout this semester and it helped build my knowledge of technology, especially technology within the classroom. I would have to say that Twitter was my favorite platform for connecting with other educators as well as compiling resources for in the classroom. I look forward to continuing to use all these tools to further my career as an educator!
When asked in class this week to reflect on what I know about coding I realized how little I know, yet I rely on coding in my everyday life when I am online. Coding sounds like a very complicated task and it has never been something I have dove into because of the complexity of it. Our task this week was to go on a coding website to try out some easy coding tasks. This sounded very intimidating until I got on the website. I chose to try out coding on Hour of Code, when I entered the website there was an abundance of options for simple coding teaching guides.
They all looked very appealing, but as soon as I saw the Flappy Code guide, I knew that was the one I wanted to complete. I remembered playing Flappy Bird back in jr. high before the game was taken off of the app store, it brought back some fond memories.
As I started my coding task, I was quite pleased with the amount of instruction that was given. The instructions would appear at the top, once you believe you had completed the proper step, you can run the game and see if it works. In order to move on to the next step, you need to successfully complete the step you are on.
Steps 2-5 allowed me to set up the game. I was able to set what happens when the bird hits the ground, what happens when you click, what happens when the bird hits an obstacle, and I was able to set up the scoring system. Whenever the bird passes through the objects, a point is earned in the game, but if the bird hits the ground or the object, it is game over.
When I reached step 6, I was very surprised that it was getting me to choose the amount the bird flaps in the game when you click. I was honestly unaware that there were other speeds that the bird could go or that was an aspect of the game that could be adjusted.
Steps 7-8 incorporated background changes into the game. As you can see in the images below, I was able to change the background to the ocean as well as a cave. I found this step very interesting because I could initiate scene changes to happen when the bird moved through an object or when the bird hit the ground. In step 8, I was also able to change the character. There was a long list of characters to choose from, such as Santa, but I chose to go with a bunny!
Step 9 allowed me to change the outcome when the bird hit an object. Instead of ending the game, I was able to reset the score to zero. The player could continue playing, but would lose all points once an object was hit. I personally think this would be SO frustrating while playing, especially if you accumulated an immense amount of points and lost them all.
Step 10 was a ton of fun! In this step, I was able to create the game from scratch however I wanted. I used a ton of the codes I was taught over the past 9 steps, including changing the character, the setting, and the speed of the bird. When I tried it out, it worked great! I did try to screen record... but I personally suck at the game and could not make it past the first obstacle no matter how many times I tried! So, instead of posting a five second video of me epically failing, I thought a screenshot would do.
After this experience, I have realized that code doesn't have to be complicated, it can actually be a fun experience. Code is very important within our society since it centers around technology. technology is constantly evolving, and code is the only way it can advance like it has been the past 15 years. Incorporating these games into the classroom as a fun activity is also very important because it shows students that code isn't something to be scared of, it is something to embrace and appreciate. I will definitely be using Hour of Code again!
The topic of digital literacy is an important one as society is deeply embedded in technology. While I was growing up, technology was rapidly evolving, but teaching about digital literacy was never incorporated into any lessons we were taught. We were always told to "use reliable sources" but were never educated on how to detect when something online is a reliable sources. As a future educator, I know that digital literacy needs to be taught within the classroom.
These lessons need to begin as early as Kindergarten or Grade 1 as kids now a days have access to the internet at early ages. I believe that this type of lesson is best taught during an English Language Arts class or a Social Studies class, it can be incorporated with projects or reports the children need to create for the subject. For the purpose of this post, I would like to discuss digital literacy in a grade 5 classroom.
How can we educate grade 5's on digital literacy?
Grade 5 is a good age to start giving the children their own tasks to research the reliability of sources. Before sending them off to do this, it is important to sit down as a group and review exactly what needs to be looked at when looking at a source. In the article "How do we Teach Students to Identify Fake News" by Dr. Alec Couros and Katia Hildebrant, they discuss the idea of bringing real-world fake news examples that the students would encounter in the classroom to apply their skills in determining why it is fake. There are a few websites that would be helpful resources to teach the class as a whole. Can you Spot the Fake News Headline is a quiz that can be done as a class. It provides a few news headings and as a class, you need to determine what news headline is the fake one. This will build up the skills within students to steer clear of headlines that are fake news. Spot the Troll is a website that incorporates Twitter/Facebook profiles into a quiz. Some of the profiles will be fake/spams while others will be real. As a class, you can investigate the profiles together and vote on whether it is fake or not. Majority of the vote will be the answer you use, the website will tell you why you are correct or incorrect and highlight the aspects of the profile the viewer should be focusing on. After examining these quizzes as a class, the next step would be allowing the students to go online and examine a few articles that the teacher has chosen. They would be able to put their skills to the test and examine these headlines/articles and come to a conclusion on if it is fake or real. In the (National Council of Teachers of English), it states that students need opportunities to synthesize information, I believe by following the ideas provided for teaching digital literacy within a grade 5 class, the students would have the opportunity to do so.
Since a lot of individuals currently teaching or pursuing education to become a teacher did not grow up learning digital literacy in the classroom, it is important that we educate ourselves prior to educating our students.
It is no surprise that people now a days like to do some sleuthing on the internet prior to meeting new people and even after meeting them. I have to admit that I do partake in this, but I don't normally sleuth too deep. The usual spaces I check are Facebook and Instagram, but today I decided to take a deeper dive into online sleuthing. I chose to do some investigating on my sister, Carlee Fero, as I am always lecturing her on what she posts online. I googled Carlee's name and here is what I found...
The first thing that popped up was Carlee's Facebook profile. When I clicked on the link, it brought me to her profile. It looks like she has her privacy settings fairly tight on Facebook. It does not state her employment or where she lives. It does state that she attended St. Stephens Jr. High as well as Bishop Grandin High School which are located in Calgary. I was fairly impressed with the lack of information available.
Her Tik Tok account was the next thing that popped up on google. Her Tik Tok is not private, so all of her posts are available to the public. I know that most Tik Tok accounts aren't private because the whole point is to create content that others can view and like. Carlee has over twelve thousand followers, so I was fairly impressed by the amount of attention her account has gotten. Her account states her age as well as where she lives. She is twenty years old and lives in Calgary, Alberta.
Her next form of social media that popped up on google was her YouTube account. She had no videos posted, but does follow a ton of channels. There wasn't really any personal information on her YouTube account.
I was very surprised that Carlee's Instagram account was the last form of social media to pop up on google. Her account is public so anyone is able to see all of her photos. She has posted on this platform very few times, but all of her posts are about her life. She has many photos with her boyfriend as well as her family.
After examining all of these sites, it seems as though Carlee leads a fairly private life. It looked as though she used Tik Tok the most, but that is the current app trend within society, so I wasn't that surprised. While examining the Tik Tok account, I thought about the article "Having Multiple Online Identities is More Normal than you Think" by N. Lee. In the article, she talks about the audience we create our content for on different social media outlets. While looking at Carlee's profiles, I recognized that her Facebook account seemed more geared towards privacy and family, while her Tik Tok account was geared more towards the public and getting likes on the app.
I am constantly telling my sister to be careful about what she posts and shares on her profiles as it could have a huge impact on her life. Not only do people have access to your information, future employers do as well. I have been in the office at some jobs when they pull up online profiles while looking at resumes and it ultimately becomes their first impression of you. I also warn her about the content she posts due to the recent uprising of "cancel culture" and the amount of individuals posting nasty comments and contacting employers of that individual if they don't agree with something they see online. The video "How One Tweet Can Ruin Your Life" uploaded by TedTalk, came to mind when thinking of the current state of cancel culture. The video showed how one comment/tweet/post can cause a detrimental effect online, including backlash from random individuals. This is especially popular on Tik Tok right now, I have seen multiple videos with quite rude comments trying to destroy that persons life.
Overall, I think it is important for everyone to be aware about what they are posting online as well as their privacy settings on their accounts. It may be a good idea to go check out how your accounts are set up! Stay safe in this world that revolves around technology.
After reading Riddle's Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship as well as the Saskatchewan K-12 curriculum, one thing became very clear to me, as educators, we are responsible for educating the students on how to use technology properly. As discussed in class, many parents of young children are unaware of the full extent of the internet and technology because it has evolved so rapidly in the past 15 years, it's a whole new world. It's important for us to educate not only the children, but the parents as well. As discussed, this can be achieved by hosting seminars after school hours for the parents to attend or sending out pamphlets home for the parents.
I want to discuss a few of Ribble's Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship and how it can be intertwined with the Saskatchewan K-12 Curriculum .
Let's start with the first element of digital citizenship... digital access. I think this aspect of digital citizenship is very important, especially as an educator trying to incorporate technology into the classroom. This element applies to all students at all grade levels. We are responsible for knowing who has access to technology and who does not, we are also responsible for helping that student gain access or altering the work so that they are able to complete it.
The second element is digital commerce. This element refers to the buying and selling of products online. Educating students on online purchases can make them aware of the safety and security risks associated with it as well as the risks financially. This element is better taught in middle or high school, as students that age are gaining access to online shopping. In Saskatchewan, there is an Economics 20 course that is offered in high school, I believe this would be the best place to address digital commerce. Some outcomes for this course include the understanding of money and the market, which as we know is largely online now. Incorporating the dangers of online economics can make students more aware of their actions while online.
Element three is digital communication and collaboration. I believe online communication can start being taught as soon as children enter school. As we discussed in class on Tuesday, there was a kindergarten teacher that would hand our papers that represented a tweet and the students would each fill it out. The students began learning what was appropriate to be posting online and the teacher would actually post the students tweets on their class Twitter page. This ties into the English Language Arts Kindergarten outcome of composing and creating visual, multimedia, oral and written texts.
I do believe that all nine elements are extremely important to incorporate into the classroom and by incorporating them, the students have a better idea of how to be internet safe in this new era of a technological world. As educators, we are responsible to educate ourselves as well as the student and the parents. Technology is continuously evolving and it is our job to stay on top of it.